A hopeful sign

I had to drop off my car this morning to get inspected (naturally, I can’t find the insurance card). The owner’s son drove me home and he started talking about the Occupy people who’d marched past their shop this week.

He said they were planning to sue JPMorgan and “the rest of those banks,” and he was pretty happy about it. “I could copy what they gave to me if you’re interested,” he said. “I hope they can get something done.”

Yoo hoo, Bucks County readers

From Working Families PA, a fun action tomorrow:

LANGHORNE- Following what has been deemed a “theatrical” House vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Bucks County residents will call on Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick to stop wasting time and taxpayer dollars, respect the Supreme Court’s decision and move forward with creating jobs. On Wednesday, July 11 at 11:30am constituents will file into Rep. Fitzpatrick’s Langhorne office with a dozen roses and a personalized Playbill in honor of their congressman’s theatrical performance in voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Who: Pennsylvania Working Families, Penn Action
What: Bucks County Needs Jobs, Not Political Theater Event
When: Wednesday, July 11 at 11:30am
Where: Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick’s office, 1717 Langhorne Newtown Rd #400, Langhorne, PA

More: Following a landmark Supreme Court decision, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote for the 31st time on Tuesday to repeal the health care law, knowing the vote will be blocked by the Senate and the President.

“This health care vote is going nowhere and Congressman Fitzpatrick knows that. If Congressman Fitzpatrick wants to do theater, he should audition at Bristol Riverside. If he wants to help get our economy back on track, he should support the Bring Our Jobs Home Act to stop outsourcing in our community,” said Mark McClain of Bristol.

The group will also deliver hundreds of petition signatures in support of the Bring Our Jobs Home Act, which will stop tax breaks for corporations that outsource American jobs to other countries.

“Every moment that Rep. Fitzpatrick wastes with this Washington non-sense is a moment we could be getting serious about getting more Americans back to work, increasing the minimum wage and ending the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy,” added McClain.

Flash choir

Sings a new Phillip Glass piece in Times Square. Not crazy about Glass, but what the hell:

More adventures in Thyroidland

So I went back to the nasty endo today. I realize now he’s a really old guy, and just set in his ways. For instance, when I told him I felt much better during the day on the 50 mcg of thryoid but that it gave me bad insomnia, he shook his head and said it “couldn’t” be from the thyroid because that was a hyperthyroid symptom, and you can’t be hyper and hypo at the same time.

Even though you can. Because the doctor who first told he thought something was off told me I had symptoms of both, and that you can have both at the same time if you have adrenal fatigue. (Oddly enough, I’d had a rather compelling dream many years ago where I heard a voice telling me, “You have adrenal exhaustion.” I’d never even heard of it, tried to look it up and couldn’t find anything. So I put it out of my head.)

Anyway, this is a very complicated condition and I don’t have the mental focus to untangle it all. Hopefully my primary care doctor will do that for me — at least, as long as I still have medical insurance. I get really stressed out, worrying about making that insurance payment every month.

Eminent domain

Great idea, hope it spreads. Joe Nocera:

There are few counties in America in as rough shape as San Bernardino County in California. During the housing bubble, the good times were very good. But then came the bust.

Today, San Bernardino County has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation: 11.9 percent. Home prices have collapsed. Astonishingly, every second home is underwater, meaning the homeowner owes more on the mortgage than the house is worth. It is well documented that underwater mortgages have a high likelihood of defaulting — and, eventually, being foreclosed on. It has also been clear for some time that the best way to keep troubled homeowners in their homes is by reducing the principal on their mortgages, thus lowering their debt burden and more closely aligning their mortgage with the actual value of the home.

Which is why Greg Devereaux, the county’s chief executive officer, found himself listening intently when the folks from Mortgage Resolution Partners came knocking on his door. They had spent the previous year kicking around an intriguing idea: have localities buy underwater mortgages using their power of eminent domain — and then write the homeowner a new, reduced mortgage. It’s principal reduction using a stick instead of a carrot.

I know. When you first hear this idea, it sounds a little crazy. Eminent domain to take a mortgage? But the more closely you look at it, the more sense it starts to make. It would be a way to break the logjam that keeps mortgages in mortgage-backed bonds — securitizations — from being modified. It could prevent foreclosures. And it could finally stabilize housing prices.

[…] The securitization industry is up in arms about this proposal. In late June, after the plan was leaked to Reuters, some 18 organizations, including the Association of Mortgage Investors, wrote a threatening letter to the San Bernardino board of supervisors claiming that the plan would inflict “significant harm” to homeowners in the county. For his part, Devereaux insists that no final decision has been made. But, he says, “this is the first idea that anyone has approached us with that has the potential to have a real impact on our economy.” Other cities are watching closely to see what happens in San Bernardino.

We’re four years into a housing crisis. Nothing has yet worked to stem the terrible tide of foreclosures. It’s time to give eminent domain a try.

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